Innovation That Matters


Mexico City uses recycled plastic tricycle to fight congestion


A new project open sources the design for a tricycle made from recyclable materials to tackle congestion in Mexico City.

Spotted: Given growing concerns about reducing waste, there have been an increasing number of innovations that try to combat this in some way. At Springwise, we have previously covered a toothbrush made from paper and a method for extracting usable nutrients from seafood processing. Now, Design Academy Eindhoven graduate, Thomas Hoogewerf has created the Better to Transport tricycle, made from materials commonly found in Mexico City’s trash. Hoogewerf chose to create a tricycle not only as a way to use waste materials, but also as a response to Mexico City’s transport issues. The cycles offer a cheaper, cleaner alternative to cars and can be used to avoid delays on the city’s roads.

Hoogewerf has developed a heat pressing technique that will work with a wide variety of plastics, including those that are normally difficult to recycle. The technique uses a hydraulic press fitted with a heat burner, to create bicycle parts from waste plastic. The bike was designed so that any parts that wear out can be remoulded into new parts or replaced. The designs for the tricycle and the equipment needed to make it are available to download from an OpenWiki page. The page includes designs for adapting the bike to suit different environments, and for personalising the bike for individual taste and fit. Also included are projected costs and parts lists, and users can share their own experiences and tips for making the bike.




Download PDF